Modern Warfare Game Modder DMCA's Infinity Ward

from the bogus-DMCA-claims-are-no-laughing-matter dept

Reader Cameron Boykin alerts us to the news that a game modder appears to have filed a DMCA claim against Infinity Ward for its video of a certain part of Modern Warfare 2, claiming that the element in the game was influenced by a mod he had created. While this may seem amusing to the folks who are pissed off at Infinity Ward for various consumer-unfriendly positions, it still appears to be an abuse of the DMCA. It doesn't sound like Infinity Ward flat out took this guy's code or anything -- and having similar gameplay elements is unlikely to be copyright infringement at all. While it may have just been a joke or a "protest" sort of move, filing a bogus DMCA takedown is bad news no matter how you look at it, and can get the filer into a lot of legal hot water pretty quickly.


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(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    John Doe, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 4:08am

    Can he really get in trouble?

    You state filing a false DMCA takedown notice can get someone in legal hot water pretty quickly, but with all the stories here of people/companies doing just that, is anyone really getting in trouble for it? Seems like the risk is pretty low or we wouldn't see so much abuse of it.

     

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  2.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 4:28am

    Re: Can he really get in trouble?

    That's what i was going to ask.

    There hasn't exactly been precedent for this kind of abuse being a bad thing to do.

     

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  3.  
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    Big money Big influence, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 4:54am

    It's about time to make an example

     

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  4.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 5:03am

    Re: Re: Can he really get in trouble?

    Well, it is a bad thing and there are parts of the law that allow punishment for it.

    The question becomes; Will they punish this person and set a precedence or let it slide to allow the big corporations to keep filing false DMCA takedowns? Or, a much more likely outcome; Will they smack this guy around with the law and conveniently forget it exists the next time the big guys do it?

     

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    Liquid, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 5:08am

    Sue happy people:

    Ok saying that a part of the game was influenced by a mod he created is a stupid reason to file a claim. That would be like me saying people that a restaurant was influenced by me adding mustard to my tuna fish, and then they started to do the same thing. They were influenced by my idea they should stop. If he didn't want someone to look at his mod, and go "hmmm this is cool, but how can I make it better as well as well as putting my own style to it" he should have copy write'd that mod then. That way even the idea behind it couldn't be use with his expressed written consent.

    Lets face it Infinity Ward/Activision isn't going to pay him squat for taking an non copy write'd idea, and making it better with their flair. You don't hear addon makers for World of Warcraft going nutts, because blizzard decided to add that to their UI. They've added their own in game threat meter when you can use Omen. The guy that created omen hasnt tried to file a DCMA against them.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 5:08am

    Maybe if filing bogus takedowns wasn't such an effective way to get some free publicity, there wouldn't be such a big problem.....

     

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  7.  
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    Call me Al, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 5:36am

    Re: Sue happy people:

    "taking an non copy write'd idea, and making it better with their flair."

    Just wanted to comment on your assumption that because the company does it it means they will do it better. Various times in various industries I've seen the original creator take an amateur development and adopt it but screw it up in the process. Its no guarantee.

    As for this case, if the guy is a modder he's clearly going to be bitter about the recent developments and so he's going after them in the loudest way he can.

    I would be very curious to see how this is treated. If the law drops a ton of bricks on him but lets the big boys off then I'll have even less respect for it then previously. Having said that I reckon it is unlikely it will ever get to that point, he'll get a look at the legal fees that are coming and will run scared.

     

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  8.  
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    Liquid, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Sue happy people:

    @Call me Al

    You are 100% correct. I could have worded that a little differently.

    The point was that they seen a popular idea that wasn't marked as a copy write'd idea, and made it fit into their game from the ideas they got from that mod. Like the story says Infinity Ward was influanced by his idea that made what ever game the mod was for better for the people that use that mod. They took that and crafted it into their work. People do that all the time. You will see musicians be influenced by other artists in their work, and craft that into their own. Painters, and writers even do the same. They also give props to the people that influenced their work.

    Yes the moder does have a right to be angry at Infinity Ward for doing this, and not giving him his due kudos as they should have. To file a DMCA is a little to far.

    This will be very interesting to see how it will all play out in the end, because it's a basic cry of "I didn't the recognition I deserve". I don't think that anyone should lose respect at the end of all this no matter how it plays out. Like the guy said the game was influenced by his mod. I agree I think once the guys see's how this will all play out he will drop his DMCA, and go home. Pissed off, but no worse for ware.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 7:28am

    Re: Can he really get in trouble?

     

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  10.  
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    Dan, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 7:28am

    Re: Can he really get in trouble?

    I agree completely.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Can he really get in trouble?

    Will they smack this guy around with the law and conveniently forget it exists the next time the big guys do it?

    dingdingdingdingding!!

    (I don't think you want the announcer to tell you what you've won)

     

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  12.  
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    MRK, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 9:17am

    The modder is 100% in the right in this case.

    The Modder believes his copyright has been violated, and so he sent a take-down notice. Since the DMCA does not require judicial review, there is no independent party to separate the foolish notices from the legitimate ones.

    The DMCA take-down notice provisions are rather stupid, but its the law of the land. The best way to fight a stupid law is to entice equal enforcement in a manner that highlights its flaws.

    I'm impressed that YouTube even bothered to enforce the rules equally. Usually the large corporations with an army of lawyers have preferential treatment.

     

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  13.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:16am

    Re: Sue happy people:

    If he didn't want someone to look at his mod, and go "hmmm this is cool, but how can I make it better as well as well as putting my own style to it" he should have copy write'd that mod then. That way even the idea behind it couldn't be use with his expressed written consent.

    It's "copyrighted", as in the right to copy, not "copywrite'd". And (in theory) ideas cannot be copyrighted, only expressions. So if Infinity Ward had seen his copyrighted mod and decided to do it themselves, they could do that legally as long as they didn't actually copy his code.

     

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  14.  
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    highlightreel, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    No it doesn't.

    "and can get the filer into a lot of legal hot water pretty quickly."

    No it doesn't. The RIAA and MPAA file lots of improper DMCA takedown notices every day and they don't get into any legal hot water.

     

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  15.  
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    Erm.., Nov 15th, 2009 @ 4:30pm

    Wow

    So he made a mod based on a single player element of MW1, and he thinks that gives him DMCA rights to that material?

    Hilarious.

     

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  16.  
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    worm, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:04am

    court of law

    just wonderd about the 5the law code of deseption.
    i was desieved into thinking this game was hack proof,no lag good or fair connectivity.


    False advertising or deceptive advertising is the use of false or misleading statements in advertising. As advertising has the potential to persuade people into commercial transactions that they might otherwise avoid, many governments around the world use regulations to control false, deceptive or misleading advertising. Truth in labeling refers to essentially the same concept, that customers have the right to know what they are buying, and that all necessary information should be on the label.

     

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  17.  
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    worm, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:09am

    Re: court of law

     

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  18.  
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    Yo it's jypsicow from xbox, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Can he really get in trouble?

     

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  19.  
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    Yo it's jypsicow from xbox, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Can he really get in trouble?

     

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  20.  
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    Jypsicow, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Can he really get in trouble?

    Hey johnits jypsicow from xbox is this you

     

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